Objectives: The primary objective was to determine if venous plasma lactate is affected by struggling during venipuncture in clinically normal, healthy cats. Additional objectives were to evaluate the effects of venipuncture site, age, sex, and time (0-24 h) on plasma lactate concentrations in healthy cats. Design: Prospective clinical study. Setting: Private veterinary referral center. Animals: Twenty-one healthy, privately owned, sexually altered, adult cats. Interventions: Blood was collected via jugular or medial saphenous venipuncture at the time of study entry and at 6 and 24 hours later. Measurements and Main Results: In healthy cats, there were no significant differences in lactate concentrations statified by degree of struggling at time 0 (P = 0.33), time 6 (P = 0.23), or at time 24 (P = 0.41), venipuncture site (P = 0.58), age (P = 0.62), sex (P = 0.06), or time (P = 0.13). Most cats had mild to moderate struggling scores. Venous plasma lactate concentrations for this group of healthy adult cats had a mean of 1.63 mmol/L; 95% CI: 1.34-1.92, SD: 0.62, and a minimum-maximum range of 0.37-2.81 mmol/L. Conclusions: The occurrence of mild to moderate struggling during venipuncture, venipuncture site, age, sex, and time did not affect plasma lactate concentrations in this group of healthy cats. Our results suggest that plasma lactate can be reliably measured in cats. Further studies are warranted in sick cats to determine if plasma lactate measurements can be utilized as a diagnostic or prognostic biomarker.
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